Faulkner, William (Literary Masters)
See also William Faulkner Criticism (Volume 1), and Volumes 3, 6, 8, 18.
1897: William Cuthbert Falkner (he added the u to his last name in 1918) is born on 25 September to Murry Cuthbert and Maud Butler Falkner in New Albany, Mississippi, where his father is a freight agent for the family-owned Gulf and Chicago Railroad, a sixty-two-mile-long narrow-gauge line.
1898: Murry Falkner’s promotion to passenger agent and treasurer of the family railroad prompts a move to the company’s operations center in Ripley, Mississippi, where he and his father before him were born. The family lives in Ripley until 1902.
1899: Faulkner’s first brother, Murry Charles “Jack” Falkner, is born.
1901: Faulkner’s second brother, John Wesley Thompson Falkner III, called Johncy as a child, is born.
1902: When Faulkner’s grandfather, John Wesley Thompson Falkner, decides to sell the railroad, Murry Falkner moves his wife and three sons to Oxford, Mississippi, where they live briefly in “The Big Place,” the grandfather’s house.
1904: Murry Falkner’s sister, Holland Falkner Wilkins, is widowed. She returns home with her daughter, Sallie Murry Wilkins, who is two years younger than William, to live with the family in “The Big Place.”
1905: Faulkner enters the first grade in Oxford public school.
1906: Faulkner skips second grade and enters third. Near Christmas, his paternal grandmother, Sallie Murry Falkner, dies at home in “The Big Place.”
1907: On 1 June Faulkner’s maternal grandmother, called Damuddy dies after a lingering illness in their home. Faulkner’s youngest brother is born on 15 August and named Dean Swift Falkner for the recently deceased Damuddy, Leila Dean Swift Butler.
1914: World War I begins in the summer, at about the same time that Faulkner establishes a friendship with Phil Stone, four years older and a recent Yale graduate. Stone begins to direct Faulkner’s reading and his first attempts at writing poetry. Faulkner enters eleventh grade, the last required year of secondary schooling.
1915: Though Faulkner returns to Oxford High School for the optional twelfth year, he does not complete it, dropping out of school for good.
1916: Faulkner works briefly as clerk in his paternal grandfather’s bank, the First National Bank of Oxford, reads widely, and develops a fascination with the exploits of European aviators in the war.
1918: Faulkner’s childhood sweetheart, Estelle Oldham, is engaged to a dashing University of Mississippi law graduate, Cornell Franklin. As the marriage date approaches, Faulkner is increasingly distraught. Weeks before the April wedding Phil Stone invites him to New Haven, Connecticut, where Stone has returned to study law at Yale. With Stone’s help, Faulkner devises a plan to join the Canadian unit of the British Royal Air Force, adding a u to his surname to make it look more British. In July, William “Faulkner” begins training at a Toronto ground school.
Faulkner misses the chance to engage in air combat over Europe when the November Armistice ends World War I. No evidence exists that he flew during his training or, as he later claimed, crashed an airplane. Home in Oxford by Christmas, he nevertheless wears a Royal Air Force officer’s uniform, the wings of a pilot, and the service cap of an overseas veteran. “Lapres-midi d’un faune,” a poem titled after a work by the leader of the French symbolist poets, Stephane Mallarme, becomes Faulkner’s first publication in a nationally distributed periodical,The New Republic.
1919-1920: Faulkner takes classes at the University of Mississippi, “Ole Miss,” where his father now works in the business office. As a member of the student dramatic club, Faulkner participates in productions and writes a play bearing the club’s name, Marionettes. He hand-letters and illustrates six copies of the play as gifts for friends.
1921: Faulkner makes an exploratory fall trip to the art scene in New York City. Except for part-time clerking in a bookstore, his trip is without result. By Christmas he returns to his family in Oxford and reluctantly agrees to accept a job arranged for him by family and friends as “fourth-class postmaster” of the University of Mississippi campus post office.
1922: Faulkner’s paternal grandfather dies in Oxford, and Faulkner begins his tenure as campus postmaster. On the job he reads magazines that arrive for his post office patrons and writes essays and poems for student publications. He places a poem in one of the new literary magazines appearing in the South, the New Orleans Double Dealer.
1923: Still postmaster, Faulkner seeks unsuccessfully to place a book-length manuscript, “Orpheus and Other Poems,” with the Four Seas Company of Boston.
1924: Faulkner prepares a different volume of poems to submit to Four Seas. Stone agrees to pay publishing expenses of $400, and The Marble Faun is published in December, just as Faulkner contrives to end his thirty-six-month association with the U.S. Postal Service.
1925: Faulkner travels to New Orleans. His goal is to book a freighter to Europe, hoping the expatriate experience will boost his career as it has those of writers such as Ernest Hemingway and Robert Frost. The New Orleans French Quarter is so congenial that he remains there six months, becoming friends with the writer Sherwood Anderson and launching his own career in fiction. Faulkner’s first novel, Soldiers’ Pay, receives Anderson’s blessing and is accepted by Anderson’s New York publisher, Boni and Liveright. Faulkner and his New Orleans roommate, the artist William Spratling, sail for Genoa in July, and Faulkner makes his way to Paris, his base for three months. He writes portions of two novels and several sketches, but he runs out of money and returns to Oxford, Mississippi, by Christmas.
1926: Early in the new year Faulkner returns to New Orleans to await the publication of his first novel.Soldiers’ Pay is published in February and receives good national reviews but is not a runaway success. Estelle Oldham Franklin, his childhood sweetheart, returns to Oxford from China with her two children and files for divorce from Cornell Franklin. Though now courting another girl, Faulkner dedicates to Estelle a gift typescript of New Orleans sketches called “Royal Street.” He and Spratling publish Sherwood Anderson and Other Famous Creoles, a satire of Anderson and other members of the New Orleans art scene, including themselves. In early September, Faulkner finishes his second novel, Mosquitoes, a roman a clef about his French Quarter friends, and Boni and Liveright agrees to publish it. He starts “Father Abraham,” a fictional work about the rise of a sharecropper named Flem Snopes. At the same time he begins a novel concerning a family closely resembling his own with the working title “Flags in the Dust.”
1927: On 30 April Mosquitoes is published. Faulkner’s New Orleans friends, including Anderson, are angered by the way they are portrayed in the book. Faulkner returns to his parents’ house on the Ole Miss campus to complete “Flags in the Dust.” His publisher, Horace Liveright, judges the novel unfocused and turns it down. Faulkner proposes other projects—the Snopes chronicle he has started in “Father Abraham” and a book of short stories about his townspeople—but his association with Boni and Liveright is over, and the projected book of stories never appears.
1928: Faulkner puts aside the Snopes book and fails to place the rejected “Flags in the Dust” with other publishers. In March he embarks on a novel-length project about three boys named Compson and their sister, Caddie, believing no one will ever publish the book. In September an Ole Miss friend, Ben Wasson, now a literary agent, places “Flags in the Dust” with Harcourt, Brace. The acceptance requires Faulkner to cut one-third of the text, but he assigns the pruning to Wasson and continues to work on the Compson novel, now called “The Sound and the Fury.” “Flags in the Dust” is retitled “Sartoris,” the name of the central fictional family in the story.
1929: In January, Harcourt, Brace publishes Sartoris in an edition of fewer than two thousand copies. Though Sherwood Anderson has withdrawn his friendship, the book is admiringly dedicated to him. As Faulkner expects, Harcourt, Brace turns down “The Sound and the Fury.” He signs with a new firm that Harrison Smith, a young editor leaving Harcourt, has set up with the British publisher Jonathan Cape. As “The Sound and the Fury” is being readied for publication, Faulkner composes a lurid story of rural bootleggers, Memphis gangsters, abduction, rape, and murder, hoping to make some money from his writing. The title is “Sanctuary.”
In late April, Estelle Oldham’s divorce from Cornell Franklin is final. She lives in Oxford with her parents and two children, and Faulkner sees her frequently. In June, he writes Harrison Smith asking for $500 so that he can marry Estelle, and on 20 June he and his childhood sweetheart drive to a small community southwest of Oxford, where the ceremony is performed. They take an apartment near the Ole Miss campus. Faulkner begins a job, arranged by his father, as night foreman in the university power plant. The Sound and the Fury appears on 7 October. Though printing less than two thousand copies, Cape and Smith also publish a promotional pamphlet in which popular author Evelyn Scott praises the novel.
Writing at night in a small office inside the power plant, Faulkner works on a new novel, “As I Lay Dying,” between 25 October—the day following the Black Tuesday crash of the American stock market—and 11 December.
1930: When Faulkner completes “As I Lay Dying,” he immediately turns to systematic marketing of his short stories. In April “A Rose for Emily” is published in Forum, earning Faulkner $50 for his first story in a nationally distributed magazine. In May another national journal, Scribner’s Magazine, agrees to publish “Dry September,” the somber story of a lynching, for $200. In June, Faulkner moves his new family into a run-down pre-Civil War dwelling on wooded land near the outskirts of Oxford. It lacks electricity and indoor plumbing. He names it “Rowan Oak,” after a Scottish legend about a tree with magical powers against evil spirits. Estelle is pregnant with their first child.
That summer and fall, The Saturday Evening Post takes two of Faulkner’s stories, H. L. Mencken’s American Mercury publishes one, and Cape and Smith publish As I Lay Dying. After a long delay Faulkner receives galley proofs of his sensational gangster novel Sanctuary and revises the proofs heavily, paying to have type reset.
1931: On 11 January a daughter, named for Faulkner’s great-aunt Alabama, is born prematurely and lives only a few days. The revised Sanctuary is published by Cape and Smith in February and is more widely reviewed than any of Faulkner’s previous books. In mid August he begins a novel, initially titled “Dark House,” about Joe Christmas, a man who does not know whether he is white or black. In September, Faulkner’s first short-story collection, These 13, originally to be called “A Rose for Emily and Other Stories,” is published by Cape and Smith.
1932: The inexpensive Modern Library edition of Sanctuary is published, with an introduction by Faulkner in which he portrays him-self as a member of the “hard-bellied” tough-guy school of writers. He claims to have revised Sanctuary so it would not “shame” The Sound and the Fury and As I Lay Dying. When Cape and Smith enters bankruptcy, Faulkner’s $4,000 share of royalties is frozen.
Between May and June, under a contract signed earlier, Faulkner undertakes his first work as a screenwriter in Hollywood, working six weeks at $500 per week for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. In June, Para-mount Pictures takes an option on Sanctuary for a motion picture; a month later M-G-M buys movie rights to Faulkner’s Saturday Evening Post war story, “Turn About.” He meets movie director Howard Hawks, who will remain a supporter for more than two decades.
Faulkner’s father dies in Oxford at age sixty-one. Harrison Smith, who has emerged from the bankruptcy of his partnership with Jonathan Cape, joins with editor Robert Haas to establish Smith and Haas. The new firm publishes the novel originally to be called “Dark House” as Light in August. Paramount Pictures purchases movie rights to Sanctuary. From late November, Faulkner is again under contract as a screenwriter for M-G-M, this time at $600 a week. Because Estelle is expecting another child, he contrives to work at home in Oxford, traveling to locations if necessary.
1933: Faulkner’s absentee screenwriting job continues though May. A Green Bough, a volume of imitative early poems that prove, in the words of one reviewer, only that Faulkner “reads a lot,” is published by Smith and Haas. On publication day Faulkner solos in an airplane on his way to earning his first pilot’s license. With money from movie purchases, he buys from his Memphis flight instructor a four-passenger single-engine Waco aircraft.
Estelle and Faulkner’s daughter, Jill, is born on 24 June. That winter he receives his pilot’s license and begins work on a novel titled “Requiem for a Nun.”
1934: Faulkner puts both “Requiem for a Nun” and a novel about the Snopeses aside in favor of one titled “DARK HOUSE or something of that nature”—the title he had first considered for Light in August. His summary of the story identifies it as the germ of Absalom, Absalom! (1936).
With his flight instructor, Vernon Omlie of Memphis, Faulkner flies to New Orleans to observe an air show held to mark the opening of the city’s new airport. By late fall he writes his agent that he is com-posing a novel about events at the air show, and that spring, Doctor Martino and Other Stones, Faulkner’s second story collection, is published under the Smith and Haas imprint.
In September The Saturday Evening Post begins publishing Faulkner’s Civil War stories that eventually constitute The Unvanquished (1938).
1935: Early in the year Faulkner receives a $2,000 advance for Absalom, Absalom! from Smith and Haas and completes his novel about the New Orleans air show, which is published in March as Pylon. That fall his youngest brother, Dean, marries, and Faulkner gives him the Waco airplane as a wedding present. Within three months, Dean crashes the plane and is killed. Faulkner takes responsibility for Dean’s widow, who is pregnant, and spends evenings caring for her and his mother. Under these conditions he continues to write the second half of Absalom, Absalom! From Hollywood. Howard Hawks responds to Faulkner’s financial crisis by arranging another contract at 20th Century-Fox for $1,000 a week.
1936: In January, apparently for the first time, Faulkner enters a special medical facility at Byhalia, Mississippi, to recover from a period of heavy drinking. Alcohol abuse runs in his family, and he has had a reputation for heavy drinking since he was a young man. Soon in Hollywood again, Faulkner works on a World War I novel, Roland Dorgelès’s Les Croix de bois (1921; translated as Wooden Crosses, 1921), which becomes the 1936 movie The Road to Glory and influences his own novel A Fable (1954). He meets Hawks’s script supervisor, a beautiful Southerner named Meta Carpenter, with whom he falls in love and has an intense affair. After going home to Oxford, Faulkner returns to Hollywood with Estelle and Jill, despite his continuing affair with Carpenter.
Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind is published in June. Faulkner tries to sell movie rights for Absalom, Absalom! to a studio for $50,000, the price David O. Selznick paid for the rights to Gone With the Wind. No one buys it.
Random House purchases Smith and Haas, bringing Harrison Smith and Robert Haas on board as editors and Faulkner along with them as an author. Random House gives Absalom, Absalom! a strong sendoff, printing a six-thousand-copy first edition and a limited, signed edition. The initial printing features a foldout map of Yoknapatawpha County and Jefferson, the fictional northern Mississippi county and county seat that form the setting for most of Faulkner’s fiction.
Throughout the winter Faulkner works on forgettable movie properties and is given no screen credit, but his salary rises to $1,000 a week, more than the median annual salary of rural Southern whites. In April, unwilling to wait any longer for Faulkner to divorce Estelle, Meta Carpenter marries a young concert pianist named Wolfgang Rebner and departs for Germany. Faulkner sends Estelle and Jill back home to Mississippi. In June, Princeton University professor Maurice Coindreau spends a week with Faulkner discussing the translation of The Sound and the Fury into French, one of several projects that will enhance the novelist’s European reputation.
1938: The Unvanquished, a Civil War fiction fashioned from stories Faulkner published in The Saturday Evening Post, appears at the height of the national success of Gone With the Wind. M-G-M, a loser in the bidding war for Mitchell’s novel, buys the rights to The Unvanquished for $25,000. In November, Harold Ober, who also represents F. Scott Fitzgerald, becomes Faulkner’s literary agent. The following month Faulkner lays out plans for a trilogy of novels on the Snopes family: “The Peasants” (from Honoré de Balzac’s novel Les Paysans, 1845), “Rus in Urbe” (The Rustic in the City), and “Ilium Falling” (from Christopher Marlowe’s play Dr. Faustus, 1604).
1939: Faulkner is elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, along with John Steinbeck, whose novel The Grapes of Wrath is published in April, and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, whose The Yearling won the Pulitzer Prize in 1938. Random House retitles Faulkner’s latest novel, which he originally called “If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem.” It becomes The Wild Palms, and when it is published, Faulkner is featured on the cover of Time magazine. Despite the sales of movie rights and short stories, as well as two consecutive successful books, Faulkner’s financial obligations keep his bank account low, and he seeks employment in Hollywood again.
1940: In January, Caroline Barr, the servant who helped supervise Faulkner’s upbringing, dies at Rowan Oak, near the age of one hundred. Fulfilling the wishes of his old nurse, Faulkner has her funeral service held in the parlor of his house and delivers the eulogy him-self. The Hamlet, the first of the three novels about Flem Snopes and his kin, is published on 1 April. A review in the Brooklyn Citizen notes positively that Faulkner “has gone back to the old writing ground, Yoknapatawpha County, to come to grips with the common man…. Here a southerner has ceased to blame the negro for the ills of the South (either blame or fear).”
1941: Faulkner explores another screenwriting job in Hollywood and sends Ober a short story titled “The Bear,” a simplified hunting tale intended for The Saturday Evening Post. Shortly after he mails the final chapters of Go Down, Moses to his publisher, Japanese aircraft bomb Pearl Harbor and America enters World War II, which has been in progress since September 1939.
1942: Concerned about the war, Faulkner seeks a role training air recruits. By the end of the summer he has accepted a mediocre screenwriting contract with Warner Bros., and he goes to Hollywood again.
1943: The war and negative feelings about Hollywood dominate Faulkner’s thoughts. To his stepson Malcolm he writes a letter condemning racial prejudice in America.
1944: Faulkner starts a novel that he calls a “fable.” He explains to a Random House editor the “argument” of the fable: In the middle of World War I, “Christ (some movement in mankind which wished to stop war forever) reappeared and was crucified again. We are … in the midst of war again. Suppose Christ gives us one more chance, and we crucify him again, perhaps for the last time.” Faulkner admits that the summary is “crudely put” and that he does not intend to preach. In the spring he is again in Hollywood, where Hawks asks him to serve as a “script doctor” for the movie adaptation of Hemingway’s 1937 novel To Have and to Have Not.
1945: Faulkner responds with increasing enthusiasm to literary historian Malcolm Cowley’s proposal for a “Portable Faulkner” volume from Viking Press that would showcase the writer’s stories and novels about Yoknapatawpha County.
1946: Random House negotiates with Warner Bros, to let Faulkner finish his fable and to agree not to claim rights to the story. His publisher provides a monthly allowance so he can stay home and write, and in the spring The Portable Faulkner is published, Faulkner’s first book in four years. It falls into the hands of veterans returning from the war and a new generation of college students.
1947: With support from Random House, Faulkner works on “A Fable.”
1948: At the beginning of the year, Faulkner puts aside the fable and begins a murder mystery. The plot is one he summarized a decade before, the drama of an independent African American man who is falsely accused of murdering a white man but solves the crime and exonerates himself. Prior to publication of the mystery, Intruder in the Dust, Random House arranges the sale of movie rights for $50,000, the price Selznick paid for Gone With the Wind. Despite the windfall from sale of the movie rights, Faulkner has another bout of drinking that lands him in a medical facility. He is elected to the inner circle of the National Institute of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, on 23 November.
1949: Clarence Brown, who had directed the movie version of Rawlings’s The Yearling, films Intruder in the Dust in Oxford, Mississippi, giving the town a new appreciation of Faulkner that is compounded when the world premiere is held there. A collection of short mystery stories, Knight’s Gambit, is published in November.
1950: Faulkner writes letters to the Memphis Commercial Appeal condemning racial injustice in Mississippi. In June the American Academy of Arts and Letters votes him their highest award for fiction, the Howells Medal. Collected Stories of William Faulkner is published in August. On 10 November the Swedish Academy announces that Faulkner has received the unanimous vote for the Nobel Prize in literature. He graciously accepts the honor but declines the trip to Stockholm to receive the award. Random House and his family persuade him to go, and he takes his daughter, Jill, with him.
1951: Faulkner begins to finish projects left pending during the financially tense days when he had to seek every means to earn money. Requiem for a Nun is published and, as Faulkner’s first post-Nobel Prize novel, is reviewed widely.
1952: In November, Faulkner assists with a program about his life for the television show Omnibus.
1953: With Jill at college, Faulkner spends more time away from home. Though his financial worries are over, his drinking and his domestic problems increase together. A romantic interest in a young writer named Joan Williams ends this year when she marries.
1954: Faulkner meets another young woman, Jean Stein, whom he sees frequently. He spends time in Europe, where he makes final corrections on “A Fable.” Jill writes her father that she wishes to marry and wants him to come home, but he does not do so immediately. In Paris he once again requires medical attention because of his drinking. The Faulkner Reader, a new anthology, becomes a selection of the Book of the Month Club, and A Fable is published.
1955: A Fable receives the National Book Award for fiction. Faulkner travels to Japan for a series of seminars sponsored by the U.S. Department of State. Big Woods, an illustrated collection of hunting stories, is published.
1956: Faulkner’s effort to complete the second and third volumes of the Snopes trilogy runs, in his own words, hot and cold. The African American writer and editor W. E. B. Du Bois offers to debate him on the topic of integration. Faulkner declines, wiring in reply that there is not a debatable point between them, since both agree already that Du Bois’s position regarding equal rights is morally and legally the right one. In September the French writer Albert Camus’s stage adaptation of Requiem for a Nun premieres in Paris, increasing Faulkner’s French and European reputation.
1957: At the beginning of the year Faulkner and his wife settle into a house in Charlottesville, Virginia, where Jill and her family now live. He accepts a position as writer in residence at the University of Virginia. The Town, the second volume of the Snopes trilogy, is published.
1958: Faulkner writes a friend that he is tired, nearing the end of his creative powers, and primarily involved in training horses. In July, Saxe Commins, Faulkner’s editor at Random House for more than twenty years, dies at age sixty-six of a heart attack.
1959: The Mansion, the final volume in the Snopes trilogy, is published. Faulkner negotiates with Random House for money to buy a show-place horse farm in Charlottesville. In mid March he falls with his horse while riding, breaking his collarbone and sustaining otherminor injuries. The break heals slowly, and Faulkner drinks to relieve the pain, worsening his condition. Another fall in May, this time while riding a horse on a paved road, puts him temporarily on crutches. In mid summer his longtime literary agent, Harold Ober, dies.
1960: Faulkner writes obituary remarks for Camus, who has been killed in an automobile accident. His mother, Maud Butler Falkner, dies in Oxford at age eighty-eight.
1961: Faulkner brags about rapid progress on a new novel portraying a youth’s adventures with a horse.
1962: Early in the year Faulkner again falls from a horse and is injured, and again he drinks to relieve the pain. His new novel, The Reivers, is published and is a Book of the Month Club selection. In the summer Faulkner makes his usual visit to Oxford, Mississippi. On 6 July, following a seizure similar to those brought on earlier in his life by heavy drinking, he dies of cardiac arrest at a sanatorium in Byhalia, not far from Oxford.
About William Faulkner
Born: 25 September 1897, in New Albany, Mississippi
Died: 6 July 1962, in Byhalia, Mississippi
Married: Lida Estelle Oldham Franklin, 20 June 1929
Education: Attended the University of Mississippi
When William Faulkner was born in his parents’ modest frame home, his birth name, William Cuthbert, was chosen by his paternal grandfather, bestowing upon the child the first name and middle initial of his regionally famous great-grandfather, Colonel William Clark Falkner. (The family name was actually Falkner, without the u, which the writer added to his name later.) The colonel had fought in the Civil War, built a railroad, and published several books, including a popular novel, The White Rose of Memphis (1881). The young family lived only a year in New Albany, a small county seat in the north central hills region of Mississippi, and then moved north to Ripley, a town rich in associations with the...
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Faulkner At Work
Over the course of his career Faulkner became, as dozens of other writers who have written about him have stated, a master at many technical aspects of writing fiction. The simplest judgment on his career is that of French novelist Claude Simon, who said, “Faulkner is the Picasso of literature.”1 Like Pablo Picasso, Faulkner made use of techniques derived from recent discoveries in many realms of thought: ethnology, psychology, philosophy, music, and of course painting, sculpture, and writing. From the first, he made unusual applications of techniques first explored by the writers of psychological fiction, that is, fiction in which the play of mind becomes as important as, or more important than, the play of action.
Drawing on earlier psychological fiction, Faulkner made innovative use of the interior monologue and stream-of-consciousness techniques, two slightly different modes of portraying the inner thoughts or feelings of a character. (The psychologist William James, brother of the novelist Henry James, coined the term stream of consciousness in 1890 to refer to the...
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Though a small town, Oxford, Mississippi, was home to all the changing currents of American and Southern life that produced what appear in retrospect to be distinct eras. Faulkner was affected by the attitudes of the members of his parents’ generation, with their memories of Reconstruction and the subsequent Redemption movement, by which Southerners resumed control over local and state governments. He grew up in the Strenuous Age (so called because of President Theodore Roosevelt’s advocacy of the strenuous life), apprenticed as a writer in the Jazz Age, and wrote his mature work during the Great Depression. His reputation suffered a decline in the World War II years and recovered during the Eisenhower years and the Cold War. He died in the early 1960s. Faulkner is more generally associated with the modern age because he wrote modernist fiction. By virtue of his devotion to his local world as subject and setting, he was a major figure in the renaissance of Southern writing that occurred between the two world wars.
The term modernism refers to a variety of literary or artistic styles that dominated the art centers of Europe and America in the first half of the twentieth century. These styles are seen in the graphic and plastic arts,...
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- POSTHUMOUS PUBLICATIONS
- CRITICAL SUMMARY
- ART IMITATING LIFE
- FAULKNER’S WORKS IN HISTORY
- ADAPTATIONS OF FAULKNER’S WORKS
- PUBLIC RESPONSE
The Marble Faun. Boston: Four Seas, 1924. Reprinted with Faulkner’s second volume of poetry as The Marble Faun and A Green Bough. New York: Random House, 1965. Faulkner found a framing device to give the nineteen poems of his first collection coherence. Prologue and epilogue are spoken as interior monologue by a marble garden statue, a faun. The faun, a-half-human, half-animal creature from Roman mythology, is paradoxically static since it is a mute statue. Most of the poems are about the weather; personified trees and flowers provide the only drama. The conceits of this poetry collection return in vivid human form in The Sound and the Fury, in which the voiceless stone faun in the garden is transformed into the voiceless idiot Benjy Compson bellowing in his pasture. The walking poplars or the fountain spray that “shakes down its … hair”1 become a tragic girl who smells like trees and rain, Caddy Compson.
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Faulkner On Faulkner
In person Faulkner was reticent, and not just about himself. Memoirs by close publishing associates record that he could bring grown men to their knees by failing to make conversation at dinners and during official interviews. In print he was more forthcoming, especially in his letters. His interviews were sometimes valuable revelations of himself, even when they exposed eccentricities or included the tall tales he habitually told. Under the right conditions and with an interviewer he liked, Faulkner could be very explicit about his reading, his development as a writer, his methods, his ideals, and his relationship with the publishing industry and his reading audience. Anyone wanting to consult his interviews should read all of them attentively, noting that some interviews present differing accounts of information about Faulkner’s life—especially his education, his favorite reading, and the way he composed his books. Faulkner often wrote and spoke about himself in self-deprecating ways, but also with candor and full recognition of his role as literary...
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- Which Romantic and modernist poets most influenced Faulkner?
- How does Faulkner fit in with the writers of the Lost Generation, such as Ernest Hemingway and F Scott Fitzgerald?
- What are Faulkner’s main contributions to the art and subject matter of the novel?
- Faulkner called himself a “failed poet.” What does that mean in terms of his use of language in the novels or stories?
- Discuss five aspects of Faulkner’s novels that identify him as a modernist writer.
- How did reviews of Faulkner’s novels affect his career?
- What inspires other writers of fiction to hold Faulkner in high esteem?
- Summarize Faulkner’s experience writing for motion pictures.
- If Faulkner was, as he said, never very interested in formal education after the seventh grade, how did he acquire the skills of language and fiction writing that he demonstrates in his novels?
- In what ways did Faulkner’s career change after 1945? Cite some reasons for this change.
- What is the relationship of Faulkner’s short-story writing to his career as a novelist?
- View one of the popular movies made of Faulkner’s novels from 1949 on: Intruder in the Dust (1949), The Tarnished Angels (1957), The Long, Hot Summer (1958), The Sound and the Fury (1959),...
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The Falkners Of Mississippi: A Supplementary Chronology
1825: William Clark Falkner, Faulkner’s great-grandfather, is born near Knoxville, Tennessee. He is a model for Colonel John Sartoris, who appears in or is referred to in several of Faulkner’s books, beginning with Sartoris.
1842: William C. Falkner arrives in the north Mississippi town of Ripley, apprentices himself to law, and prospers.
1846: William C. Falkner serves as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army in the Mexican War and is wounded, losing the joints of two fingers.
1848: William C. Falkner marries Holland Pearce of Ripley. John Wesley Thompson Falkner, the grandfather of Faulkner and a model for old Bayard Sartoris, the Young Colonel in Sartoris, is born in Ripley. The child is named after John Wesley Thompson, an uncle by marriage of William C. Falkner.
1849: William C. Falkner kills the son of a prominent local man in a dispute on the streets of Ripley and is acquitted on grounds of self-defense. His young wife, Holland, dies of tuberculosis.
1851: William C. Falkner kills another local man on the streets of Ripley and is again acquitted by reason of self-defense. He places his son by his late wife in the care of the John Wesley Thompsons, with the understanding that he will never take the child from them. Living in Cincinnati, William C. Falkner publishes at his own expense two book-length romantic narrative poems, The Siege of...
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- FACSIMILES OF MANUSCRIPTS AND TYPESCRIPTS
- BIOGRAPHICAL STUDIES
- HISTORICAL WORKS
- ESSAY COLLECTIONS
Faulkner was careful to preserve most of the manuscripts and typescripts of his published works. Some materials he gave away to friends, and many of these have resurfaced in the hands of collectors or college and university libraries (see Primary and Secondary Bibliography section). The majority of his manuscripts and typescripts he eventually deposited at the University of Virginia Library, where a private collector, Linton Massey, had already developed an impressive collection of Faulkner’s works. Faulkner left some manuscripts and typescripts in a closet at his Oxford home, Rowan Oak, and they have become part of the valuable Faulkner collections at the University of Mississippi, which also owns and curates Rowan Oak. The study of an author’s drafts teaches a great deal about his craft, characteristic compositional habits, and the development of his work. Faulkner’s readers are fortunate to have access, through published facsimiles, to abundant evidence of how he wrote and revised.
Marionettes. Oxford, Miss.: Yoknapatawpha Press, 1975. Limited-edition facsimile of one surviving manuscript of Faulkner’s hand-illustrated, lettered, and bound dream play about Pierrot and Columbine, created in 1920 for friends in the Ole Miss theatrical club called “The Marionettes.”
Marionettes, introduction and textual apparatus by Noel Polk. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1975. Limited-edition facsimile of another surviving manuscript of Faulkner’s dream play. (Each of the six copies Faulkner made is unique.)
Mayday. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1977. Limited-edition facsimile of the unique copy of a hand-illustrated, lettered, and bound allegorical narrative prepared in 1926 for Helen Baird, whom Faulkner unsuccessfully courted in New Orleans and Pascagoula, Mississippi, in 1926.
Mosquitoes: A Facsimile and Transcription of the University of Virginia Holograph Manuscript, edited by Thomas L. McHaney and David L. Vander Meulen. Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia/University of Virginia Library, 1997.
William Faulkner Manuscripts, 25 volumes, edited by Joseph Blotner, McHaney, Michael Millgate, and Polk. New York: Garland, 1986–1987. Comprises volume 1, Elmer and A Portrait of Elmer; volume 2, Father Abraham and The Wishing Tree; volume 3, Soldiers’ Pay; volume 4, Mosquitoes; volume 5, Flags in the Dust; volume 6, The Sound and the Fury; volume 7, As I Lay Dying; volume 8, Sanctuary; volume 9, These 13; volume 10, Light in August; volume 11, Doctor Martino and Other Stories; volume 12, Pylon; volume 13; Absalom, Absalom!; volume 14, The Wild Palms; volume 15, The Hamlet; volume 16, Go Down, Moses; volume 17, Intruder in the Dust; volume 18, Knight’s Gambit; volume 19, Requiem for a Nun; volume 20, A Fable; volume 21, The Town; volume 22, The Mansion; volume 23, The Reivers; volume 24, Short Stories; and volume 25, Unpublished Stories.
A concordance is a list of all the words in a text, cited alphabetically with an indication of the context of phrases or sentences in which they occur. For the study of any author such tools provide evidence of the linguistic texture of a work often overlooked by even the closest reader. Many of the Faulkner concordances include essays by scholars on how to use them for analytical study. Concordances constructed on powerful computers, as these were, have the added advantage of including a statistical summary of the vocabulary of each book, an alphabetical tabulation of word frequency, and a tabulation of vocabulary by frequency of usage.
Absalom, Absalom!: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Noel Polk and John D. Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1989.
As I Lay Dying: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Jack L. Capps, introduction by Cleanth Brooks. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1977.
Collected Stories of William Faulkner: Concordances to the Forty-Two Short Stories, 5 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
A Fable: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Polk and Kenneth Privratsky, introduction by Keen Butterworth. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1981.
Go Down, Moses: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Capps, introduction by Michael Millgate. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Micro-films International, 1977.
The Hamlet: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
Intruder in the Dust: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Polk, introduction by Patrick Samway. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1983.
Light in August: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Capps, introduction by Joseph Blotner. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1979.
The Mansion: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1988.
Pylon: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1989.
The Reivers: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1990.
Requiem for a Nun: A Concordance to the Novel, edited, with an introduction, by Polk. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1979.
Sanctuary: Corrected First Edition Text, Library of America, 1985: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
Sanctuary: The Original Text, 1981: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
The Sound and the Fury: A Concordance to the Novel, edited by Polk and Privratsky, introduction by Andre Bleikasten. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1980.
The Town: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Lawrence Z. Pizzi. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1985.
Uncollected Stories of William Faulkner: Concordances to the Forty-Five Short Stories, 5 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
The Unvanquished: A Concordance to the Novel, 2 volumes, edited by Polk and Hart. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1990.
The Wild Palms: A Concordance to the Novel, edited and introduced by Privratsky. West Point, N.Y.: Faulkner Concordance Advisory Board / Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Microfilms International, 1983.
The following are primarily guides to thousands of critical, historical, biographical, cultural, and other studies of Faulkner; a few guide the reader to major collections of his papers and manuscripts.
Bassett, John E. Faulkner: An Annotated Checklist of Recent Criticism. Kent, Ohio: Kent State University Press, 1984.
Bassett. Faulkner in the Eighties: An Annotated Critical Bibliography. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow, 1991.
Bassett. William Faulkner: An Annotated Checklist of Criticism. New York: Lewis, 1972.
Bassett, ed. William Faulkner: The Critical Heritage. London & Boston: Rout-ledge & Kegan Paul, 1975.
Blotner, Joseph. William Faulkner’s Library: A Catalogue. Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia/University Press of Virginia, 1964.
Bonner, Thomas, Jr. William Faulkner: The William B. Wisdom Collection: A Descriptive Catalogue. New Orleans: Tulane University Libraries, 1980.
Brodsky, Louis Daniel, and Robert W. Hamblin, eds. Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection, 5 volumes. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982–1988.
Cohen, Philip G., David Krause, and Karl F Zender. “William Faulkner.” In Sixteen Modern American Authors: Volume 2, A Survey of Research and Criticism Since 1972, edited by Jackson R. Bryer. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990.
Crane, Joan St. C., and Anne E. H. Freudenberg, eds. Man Collecting: Manuscripts and Printed Works of William Faulkner in the University of Virginia Library. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Library, 1975.
Cox, Leland H., ed. William Faulkner: Biographical and Reference Guide. Detroit: Gale, 1982.
Hayhoe, George. “Faulkner in Hollywood: A Checklist of His Filmscripts at the University of Virginia.” Mississippi Quarterly, 31 (Summer 1978): 407–419.
Hayhoe. “Faulkner in Hollywood: A Checklist of His Filmscripts at the University of Virginia: Some Corrections and Additions.” Mississippi Quarterly, 32 (Summer 1978): 467–472.
Inge, M. Thomas, ed. William Faulkner: The Contemporary Reviews. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
Kinney, Arthur, and Doreen Fowler, comps. “Faulkner’s Rowan Oak Papers: A Census.” Journal of Modem Literature, 10 (June 1983): 327–334.
Lloyd, James B. The Oxford ‘Eagle,’ 1900–1962: An Annotated Checklist of Material on William Faulkner and the History of Lafayette County. Mississippi State: Mississippi Quarterly, 1976.
Massey, Linton. William Faulkner: Man Working, 1919–1962: A Catalogue of the William Faulkner Collections at the University of Virginia. Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 1968.
McHaney, Thomas L. “William Faulkner.” In Bibliography of American Fiction, 1919–1988, volume 1, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli and Richard Layman. New York: Facts on File, 1991.
McHaney. “William Faulkner.” In Essential Bibliography of American Fiction: Modern Classic Writers, edited by Bruccoli and Judith Baughman. New York: Facts on File, 1994.
McHaney. William Faulkner: A Reference Guide. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1976.
Meriwether, James B. The Literary Career of William Faulkner. Princeton: Princeton University Library, 1961.
Meriwether. “The Short Fiction of William Faulkner: A Bibliography.” Proof, 1 (1971): 293–329.
Meriwether. “William Faulkner.” In Sixteen Modern American Writers: A Survey of Research and Criticism, edited by Bryer. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1973.
Meriwether. William Faulkner: An Exhibition of Manuscripts. Austin: Research Center, University of Texas, 1959.
Petersen, Carl. Each in Its Ordered Place: A Faulkner Collector’s Notebook. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Ardis, 1975.
Petersen. On the Track of the Dixie Limited: Further Notes of a Faulkner Collector. La Grange, Ill.: Colophon Book Shop, 1979.
Price-Stevens, Gordon. “The British Reception of William Faulkner, 1929–1962.” Mississippi Quarterly, 18 (Summer 1965): 119–200.
Sensibar, Judith. Faulkner’s Poetry: A Bibliographical Guide to Texts and Criticism. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Micro-films International, 1988.
Skei, Hans H. William Faulkner: The Short Story Career: An Outline of Faulkner’s Short Story Writing from 1919 to 1962. Oslo: Universitetsforlaget, 1981.
Watson, James G. “Carvel Collins’s Faulkner: A Newly Opened Archive.” Library Chronicle of the University of Texas, 20 (1991): 17–35. A report on part of the Faulkner Collection at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin.
William Faulkner Manuscripts, 25 volumes. (See under Facsimiles above.) Introductions to each volume list relevant manuscript materials at the New York Public Library, the University of Virginia Library, the University of Texas, and in other collections.
Fant, Joseph L., Ill, and Robert Ashley, eds. Faulkner at West Point. New York: Random House, 1964.
Gwynn, Frederick, and Joseph Blotner, eds. Faulkner in the University: Class Conferences at the University of Virginia, 1957–1958. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1959.
Inge, M. Thomas, ed. Conversations with William Faulkner. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999.
Meriwether, James B., and Michael Millgate, eds. Lion in the Garden: Interviews with William Faulkner 1926–1962. New York: Random House, 1968.
Blotner, Joseph, ed. Selected Letters of William Faulkner. New York: Random House, 1977.
Cowley, Malcolm. The Faulkner-Cowley File: Letters and Memories, 1944–1962. New York: Viking, 1966.
Watson, James G., ed. Thinking of Home: William Faulkners Letters to His Mother and Father, 1918–1925. New York: Norton, 1992.
Biographical writing can take more forms than narratives of a person’s life. The following is a selection of materials that narrate or otherwise construct aspects of Faulkner’s career and the background of that career.
Aiken, Charles S. “Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County: A Place in the American South.” Geographical Review, 69 (July 1979): 331–348.
Bezzerides, A. 1. William Faulkner A Life on Paper, edited by Ann Abadie. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980. Script of motion picture about Faulkner’s life. The movie is still available.
Blotner, Joseph. Faulkner: A Biography, 2 volumes. New York: Random House, 1974. Revised edition, 1 volume. New York: Random House, 1984. The authorized biography.
Brodsky, Louis D., and Robert W. Hamblin. Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection. Volume 1, The Biobibliography. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982. Chronological presentation of biographical materials from Brodsky’s collection.,
Brown, Andrew. History of Tippah County, Mississippi: The First Century. Ripley, Miss.: Tippah County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1976. A history that tells much about the milieu in which Faulkner’s great-grandfather William C. Falkner and his children lived.
Brown, Calvin S. A Glossary of Faulkner’s South. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
Cofield, J. R. William Faulkner: The Cofield Collection. Oxford, Miss.: Yoknapatawpha Press, 1978. Photographs of Faulkner and family.
Cullen, John B., with Floyd C. Watkins. Old Times in the Faulkner Country. Chapel Hill: University of North William Faulkner Carolina Press, 1961. Memoir of a man who grew up with Faulkner.
Falkner, Murry C. The Falkners of Mississippi. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1967. Memoir by Faulkner’s brother.
Faulkner, Jim. Across the Creek: Faulkner Family Stories. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986. Memoir by a nephew of Faulkner.
Faulkner, John. My Brother Bill: An Affectionate Memoir. New York: Trident, 1963. New edition, with an introduction by Jim Faulkner, Athens, Ga.: Hill Street Press, 1998.
Franklin, Malcolm. Bitterweeds: Life with William Faulkner at Rowan Oak. Irving, Tex.: Society for the Study of Traditional Culture, 1977. Memoir by Faulkner’s stepson.
Gray, Richard. The Life of William Faulkner. Blackwell Critical Biographies, no. 5. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994.
Gresset, Michel. A Faulkner Chronology, translated by Arthur B. Scharff. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.
Harrington, Evans. Faulkner’s Mississippi: Land into Legend. Oxford: University of Mississippi Department of Educational Film Production, 1965. Motion-picture biography.
Harrison, Robert. Aviation Lore in Faulkner. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 1985.
Haynes, Jane Isbell. William Faulkner: His Lafayette County Heritage: Lands, Houses, and Businesses. Ripley, Miss.: Seajay Society/Tippah County Historical and Genealogical Society, 1992. Information from courthouse records and private collections, including photographs, wills, and other materials connected to Falkner family life and property in the counties of Oxford and Lafayette.
Haynes. William Faulkner: His Tippah County Heritage: Lands, Houses, and Businesses, Ripley, Mississippi. Columbia, S.C.: Seajay Press, 1985. Information from courthouse records and local memoirs, photographs, and other material about the Falkner family heritage in Colonel William C. Falkner’s adopted hometown of Ripley, Mississippi.
Hines, Thomas S. William Faulkner and the Tangible Past: The Architecture of Yoknapatawpha. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996. More than one hundred photographs of dwellings in Mississippi that help the reader visualize the architecture of Faulkner’s world.
Holditch, W. Kenneth. “The Brooding Air of the Past: William Faulkner.” In Literary New Orleans, edited by Richard S. Kennedy. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1992.
Holditch. “William Spratling, William Faulkner, and Other Famous Creoles.” Mississippi Quarterly, 51 (Summer 1998): 423–434.
Minter, David. William Faulkner: His Life and Work. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1980; revised, 1982.
Sobotka, C. John, Jr. A History of Lafayette County, Mississippi. Oxford, Miss.: Oxford Bicentennial Commission, 1976.
Snell, Susan. Phil Stone of Oxford: A Vicarious Life. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991. This biography of Faulkner’s longtime friend and literary mentor depicts elements of life in Oxford, Mississippi, not found in Faulkner biographies.
Wasson, Ben. Count No Count: Flashbacks to Faulkner. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983. Memoir by a man who knew Faulkner as a student at the University of Mississippi and later served him briefly as agent and editor.
Webb, James W, and A. Wigfall Green. William Faulkner of Oxford. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1965. Memoirs by townspeople who grew up with or knew Faulkner.
Wilde, Meta Carpenter. A Loving Gentleman: The Love Story of William Faulkner and Meta Carpenter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1976.
Wolff, Sally, with Floyd C. Watkins. Talking About William Faulkner: Interviews with Jimmy Faulkner and Others. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1996.
Faulkner has interested historians because his fiction often dramatizes how things are remembered and retold and the problems associated with interpreting historical evidence. He also anticipated much of what Southern historians found when they finally dug into the archival record of the region’s past. Faulkner’s books lend themselves to comparison with historical works because he tempered his imagination with acute observations of the culture in which he grew up. He can be both a guide and an inspiration to the student of history, and the reading of his novels and stories benefits from attention to historical works about the South. The following list is necessarily selective, but each work cited is apt to lead a student to further reading.
Aiken, Charles S. The Cotton Plantation South Since the Civil War. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998.
Ayers, Edward. The Promise of the New South: Life After Reconstruction. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Bradbury, John M. Renaissance in the South, 1920–1960. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1963.
Cash, Wilbur J. The Mind of the South. New York: Knopf, 1941.
Cobb, James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: The Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.
Conkin, Paul K. The Southern Agrarians. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988.
Cooper, William J., Jr., and Thomas E. Terrell. The American South: A History, 2 volumes. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1991.
Foote, Shelby. The Civil War, 3 volumes. New York: Random House, 1958–1974.
Foreman, Grant. The Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1934.
Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth. Within the Plantation Household: Black and White Women of the Old South. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1988.
Genovese, Eugene D. Roll, Jordan, Roll: The World the Slaves Made. New York: Pantheon, 1974.
Harrison, Alferdteen, ed. Black Exodus: The Great Migration from the American South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.
Hobson, Fred. And Now I See: The White Southern Racial Conversion Narrative. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1999.
Hobson. Tell About the South: The Southern Rage to Explain. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983.
Hurmence, Belinda, ed. My Folks Don’t Want Me to Talk About Slavery: Twenty-One Oral Histories of Former North Carolina Slaves. Winston-Salem, N.C.: John F. Blair, 1984.
Jones, Anne Goodwyn. Tomorrow is Another Day: The Woman Writer in the South, 1859–1936. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1981.
Jordan, Winthrop. White Over Black: American Attitudes Toward the Negro, 1550–1812. Chapel Hill: Institute of Early American History and Culture/University of North Carolina Press, 1968.
Kirby, Jack Temple. The Countercultural South. Macon, Ga.: Mercer University Press, 1995.
Kirby. Darkness at the Dawning: Race and Reform in the Progressive South. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1972.
Kirby. Rural Worlds Lost: The American South, 1920–1960. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987.
Lomax, Alan. The Land Where the Blues Began. New York: Pantheon, 1993.
McMillen, Neil. Dark Journey: Black Mississippians in the Age of Jim Crow. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989.
McMillen. Remaking Dixie: The Impact of World War II on the American South. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.
McPherson, James M. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
Murray, Albert. Stomping the Blues. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1978.
O’Brien, Michael. The Idea of the American South: 1920–1941. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1979.
Roboteau, Albert J. A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African-American Religious History. Boston: Beacon, 1997.
Simkins, Francis Butler. A History of the South. New York: Knopf, 1956.
Vance, Rupert B. Human Geography of the South: A Study in Regional Resources and Human Adequacy. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1935.
Wilson, Charles Reagan. Baptized in Blood: The Religion of the Lost Cause. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980.
Wilson. Judgment and Grace in Dixie: Southern Faiths from Faulkner to Elvis. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.
Wilson and William Ferris, eds. Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1989.
Woodward, C. Vann. The Burden of Southern History. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1960; revised, 1968; third edition, 1993.
Woodward. The Origins of the New South 1877–1913. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1971.
Wyatt-Brown, Bertram. Honor and Violence in the Old South. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.
Wyatt-Brown. The House of Percy: Honor, Melancholy, and Imagination in a Southern Family. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.
Faulkner Journal (semiannual, Fall 1985–).
Faulkner Newsletter (quarterly, 1981–).
Faulkner Studies (semiannual, 1951–1954).
Faulkner Studies (1980).
Mississippi Quarterly (annual Faulkner issue, summer, 1963–).
Teaching Faulkner (semiannual, 1991–).
The following books are almost all mentioned by author or quotation elsewhere in this volume. They also represent the range of analysis and interpretation devoted to Faulkner’s writing. Hundreds of essays on Faulkner have appeared since 1939, the year that two still-famous general essays on his work were published by the poet Conrad Aiken and fiction writer George Marion O’Donnell. Guides to those essays are easily found in recently published volumes listed in the Bibliography section. New essays, as well as many fine older essays, are collected in various anthologies, proceedings of conferences, and special Faulkner journals.
Adams, Richard P. Faulkner: Myth and Motion. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968.
Arnold, Edwin. Annotations to Faulkner’s Mosquitoes. New York: Garland, 1989.
Arnold and Dawn Trouard. Reading Faulkner: Sanctuary. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.
Beck, Warren. Man in Motion: Faulkner’s Trilogy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1961.
Bleikasten, André. Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, translated by Roger Little. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1973.
Bleikasten. The Ink of Melancholy: Faulkner’s Novels from The Sound and the Fury to Light in August. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1990.
Bleikasten. The Most Splendid Failure: Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1976.
Bradbury, Malcolm, and James McFarlane. Modernism: 1890–1930. London: Penguin, 1976.
Branny, Grazyna. A Conflict of Values: Alienation and Commitment in the Novels of Joseph Conrad and William Faulkner. Krakow: Sponsor, 1997.
Brodhead, Richard. “Introduction: Faulkner and the Logic of Remaking.” In Faulkner: New Perspectives, edited by Brodhead. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.
Brooks, Cleanth. William Faulkner: Toward Yoknapatawpha and Beyond. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1978.
Brooks. William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963.
Broughton, Panthea. Faulkner: The Abstract and the Actual. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1974.
Brown, Calvin S. A Glossary of Faulkner’s South. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1976.
Brylowski, Walter. Faulkner’s Olympian Laugh: Myth in the Novels. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1968.
Butterworth, Keen. A Critical and Textual Study of Faulkner’s A Fable. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1983.
Butterworth and Nancy Butterworth. Annotations to Faulkner’s A Fable. New York: Garland, 1989.
Clarke, Deborah. Robbing the Mother: Women in Faulkner. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
Dasher, Thomas E. William Faulkner’s Characters: An Index to the Published and Unpublished Fiction. New York: Garland, 1981.
Davis, Thadious. Faulkner’s “Negro.” Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1983.
Douglass, Paul. “Deciphering Faulkner’s Uninterrupted Sentence” and “Faulkner and the Bergsonian Self.” In his Bergson, Eliot, and American Literature. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, 1986.
Duvall, John N. Faulkner’s Marginal Couple: Invisible, Outlaw, and Unspeakable Communities. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990.
Fadiman, Regina. Faulkner’s Light in August: A Description and Interpretation of the Revisions. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1975.
Ferguson, James. Faulkner’s Short Fiction. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1991.
Fowler, Doreen. Faulkner’s Changing Vision: From Outrage to Affirmation. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1997.
Godden, Richard. Fictions of Labor: William Faulkner and the South’s Long Revolution. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Gresset, Michel. Fascination: Faulkner’s Fiction 1919–1936. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1989. Adapted by Thomas West from the French text Faulkner, ou La Fascination: Poetic du Regard. Paris: Klincksieck, 1982.
Gutting, Gabriele. Yoknapatawpha: The Fictioning of Geographical and Historical Facts in William Faulkner’s Fictional Picture of the Deep South. Frankfurt: Peter Lang, 1992.
Gwin, Minrose C. The Feminine and Faulkner: Reading (Beyond) Sexual Difference. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1990.
Hahn, Stephen, and Arthur F. Kinney, eds. Approaches to Teaching William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury. New York: Modern Language Association, 1996.
Hoffman, Daniel. Faulkner’s Country Matters: Folklore and Fable in Yoknapatawpha. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1989.
Holmes, Catherine D. Annotations to Faulkner’s The Hamlet. New York: Garland, 1996.
Hönnighausen, Lothar. Faulkner: Masks and Metaphors. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.
Hönnighausen. William Faulkner: The Art of Stylization in his Early Graphic and Literary Work. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Horton, Merrill. Annotations to Faulkner’s The Town. New York: Garland, 1996.
Hinkle, James, and Robert McCoy. Reading Faulkner: The Unvanquished. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
Irwin, John. Doubling and Incest, Repetition and Revenge. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.
Jehlen, Myra. Class and Character in Faulkner’s South. New York: Columbia University Press, 1976.
Jenkins, Lee. Faulkner and Black-White Relations: A Psychoanalytic Approach. New York: Columbia University Press, 1981.
Johnson, Susie Paul. Annotations to Faulkner’s Pylon. New York: Garland, 1989.
Kaluza, Irena. The Functioning of Sentence Structure in the Stream-of-Consciousness Technique of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury: A Study in Linguistic Stylistics. Krakow: Jegellonian University Press, 1967.
Kartiganer, Donald M. The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner’s Novels. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1979.
Kawin, Bruce. Faulkner and Film. New York: Ungar, 1977.
Kinney, Arthur. Go Down, Moses: The Miscegenation of Time. Boston: Twayne, 1996.
Kreiswirth, Martin. William Faulkner: The Making of a Novelist. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983.
Langford, Gerald. Faulkner’s Revision of Absalom, Absalom! Austin: University of Texas Press, 1971.
Luce, Dianne C. Annotations to Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. New York: Garland, 1990.
Matthews, John T. The Play of Faulkner’s Language. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1982.
Matthews. The Sound and the Fury: Faulkner and the Lost Cause. Boston: Twayne, 1990.
McDaniel, Linda Elkins. Annotations to Faulkners Flags in the Dust. New York: Garland, 1991.
McHaney, Thomas L. William Faulkner’s The Wild Palms: A Study. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1976.
Millgate, Michael. The Achievement of William Faulkner. New York: Random House, 1966.
Millgate. Faulkner’s Place. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1997.
Moreland, Richard. Faulkner and Modernism. Reading and Rewriting. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1990.
Morris, Wesley, and Barbara Alverson Morris. Reading Faulkner. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1989.
Mortimer, Gail. Faulkner’s Rhetoric of Loss: A Study of Perception and Meaning. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983.
Parker, Robert Dale. Absalom, Absalom! The Questioning of Fictions. Boston: Twayne, 1991.
Parker. Faulkner and the Novelistic Imagination. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1985.
Pitavy, François. Faulkner’s Light in August, translated by Gillian Cook. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1979.
Polk, Noel. Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.
Polk. Faulkner’s Requiem for a Nun: A Critical Study. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.
Ragan, David Paul. William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! A Critical Study. Ann Arbor, Mich.: University Micro-films International, 1987.
Roberts, Diane. Faulkner and Southern Womanhood. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1994.
Ross, Stephen. Fictions Inexhaustible Voice: Speech and Writing in Faulkner. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1989.
Ross and Noel Polk. Reading Faulkner: The Sound and the Fury. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.
Rousselle, Melinda McLeod. Annotations to William Faulkner’s Sanctuary. New York: Garland, 1989.
Ruppersburg, Hugh M. Reading Faulkner: Light in August. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
Ruppersburg. Voice and Eye in Faulkner’s Fiction. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983.
Schoenberg, Estella. Old Tales and Talking: Quentin Compson in William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! and Related Works. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1977.
Schwartz, Lawrence H. Creating Faulkner’s Reputation: The Politics of Modern Literary Criticism. Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1988.
Sensibar, Judith L. The Origins of Faulkner’s Art. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984.
Singal, Daniel. William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.
Skei, Hans. Reading Faulkner’s Best Short Stories. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1999.
Strandberg, Victor. A Faulkner Overview: Six Perspectives. Port Washington, N.Y.: Kennikat Press, 1981.
Sundquist, Eric. Faulkner: The House Divided. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
Taylor, Nancy Drew. Annotations to Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses. New York: Garland, 1994.
Tully Sue Hayes. Annotations to Faulkner’s Light in August. New York: Garland, 1986.
Urgo, Joseph. Faulkner’s Apocrypha: A Fable, Snopes, and the Spirit of Human Rebellion. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1989.
Vickery Olga. The Novels of William Faulkner: A Critical Interpretation, revised edition. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964.
Wadlington, Warwick. As I Lay Dying: Stories Out of Stones. Boston: Twayne, 1992.
Wadlington. Reading Faulknerian Tragedy. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1987.
Watson, James G. William Faulkner: Letters and Fictions. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987.
Watson, Jay. Forensic Fictions: The Lawyer Figure in Faulkner. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1995.
Weinstein, Philip. Faulkner’s Cosmos: A Subject No One Owns. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.
Weinstein. What Else But Love? The Ordeal of Race in Faulkner and Morrison. New York: Columbia University Press, 1996.
Werner, Craig. Playing the Changes: From Afro-Modernism to the Jazz Impulse. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1994.
Wittenberg, Judith. The Transfiguration of Biography. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.
Yonce, Margaret. Annotations to Faulkner’s Soldiers’ Pay. New York: Garland, 1989.
THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI FAULKNER AND YOKNAPATAWPHA CONFERENCE PROCEEDINGS:
1976—Harrington, Evans, and Ann J. Abadie, eds. The South & Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha: Actual and Apocryphal. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1977.
1977—Harrington and Abadie, eds. The Maker and the Myth. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1978.
1978—Harrington and Abadie, eds. Faulkner, Modernism, and Film. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1979.
1979—Fowler, Doreen, and Abadie, eds. Fifty Years of Yoknapatawpha. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1980.
1980—Fowler and Abadie, eds. “A Cosmos of My Own. “Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1981.
1981—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Southern Renaissance. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1982.
1982—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner: International Perspectives. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.
1983—Fowler and Abadie, eds. New Directions in Faulkner Studies. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984.
1984—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Humor. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.
1985—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Women. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1986.
1986—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Race. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1987.
1987—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Craft of Fiction. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1988.
1988—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Popular Culture. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1989.
1989—Fowler and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Religion. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1990.
1990—Harrington and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Short Story. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1992.
1991—Donald M. Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Psychology. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
1992—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Ideology. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
1993—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Artist. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1994.
1994—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and Gender. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1995.
1995—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner in Cultural Context. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1996.
1996—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner and the Natural World. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1999.
1997—Kartiganer and Abadie, eds. Faulkner at 100: Retrospect and Prospect. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2000.
Barth, J. Robert, ed. Religious Perspectives in Faulkner’s Fiction. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1972.
Bleikasten, André, ed. William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury: A Critical Casebook. New York: Garland, 1982.
Bleikasten and Nicole Moulinoux, eds. Douze lectures de “Sanctuaire.” Etudes Americaines. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes/Fondation William Faulkner, 1995.
Brodhead, Richard H., ed. Faulkner: New Perspectives. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1983.
Canfield, J. Douglas, ed. Twentieth Century Interpretations of Sanctuary. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1982.
Carey, Glenn O., ed. Faulkner: The Unappeased Imagination: A Collection of Critical Essays. New York: Whitston, 1980.
Collins, R. G., and Kenneth McRobbie, eds. The Novels of William Faulkner. New Views: A Mosaic Series in Literature, no. 17. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1973.
Cox, Dianne Luce, ed. William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying: A Critical Casebook. New York: Garland, 1985.
Cox, Leland H., ed. William Faulkner: Critical Collection. Detroit: Gale, 1982.
Coy, Javier, and Michel Gresset, eds. Faulkner and History. Salamanca: Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, 1986.
Gresset, Michel, and Kenzaburo Ohashi, eds. Faulkner: After the Nobel Prize. Kyoto: Yamaguchi, 1987.
Gresset and Noel Polk, eds. Intertextuality in Faulkner. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1985.
Gresset and Patrick Samway eds. Faulkner and Idealism: Perspectives from Paris. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1983.
Hoffman, Frederick, and Olga Vickery. Three Decades of Faulkner Criticism. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1960.
Hönnighausen, Lothar, ed., Faulkner’s Discourse: An International Symposium. Tübingen: Max Niemeyer, 1989.
Hönnighausen, ed. William Faulkner: German Responses 1997. Amerikastudien/American Studies, 42, no. 4 (1997).
Hönnighausen and Valeria Gennaro Lerda, eds. Rewriting the South: History and Fiction. Tübingen: Francke, 1993.
Kinney, Arthur F., ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The Compson Family. Boston, G. K. Hall, 1982.
Kinney, ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The McCaslin Family. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1989.
Kinney, ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The Sartoris Family. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1985.
Kinney, ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The Sutpen Family. Boston: G. K. Hall, 1995.
Kolmerten, Carol A., Stephen M. Ross, and Judith Bryant Wittenberg, eds. Unflinching Gaze: Morrison and Faulkner Re-envisioned. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1997.
McHaney, Thomas L., ed. Faulkner Studies in Japan. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1985.
Meriwether, James B. A Faulkner Miscellany. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1974.
Millgate, Michael. New Essays on Light in August. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Moulinoux, Nicole, ed. “William Faulkner.” Europe: Revue Littereaire Mensuelle, no. 753 (February 1992): 3–151.
Muhlenfeld, Elisabeth, ed. William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom! New York: Garland, 1984.
Pitavy, Francois, ed. William Faulkner’s Light in August: A Critical Casebook. New York: Garland, 1982.
Polk, Noel. New Essays on The Sound and the Fury. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
Skei, Hans H., ed. William Faulkner’s Short Fiction: An international Symposium. Oslo: Solum, 1997.
Wagner, Linda. William Faulkner: Four Decades of Criticism. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 1973.
Wagner-Martin, Linda. New Essays on Go Down, Moses. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Warren, Robert Penn, ed. Faulkner: A Collection of Critical Essays. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1966.
Wolfe, George H., ed. Faulkner: Fifty Years After the Marble Faun. University: University of Alabama Press, 1976.
Zacharasiewicz, Waldemar, ed. Faulkner, His Contemporaries, and His Posterity. Tübingen: Francke, 1993.
Zyla, Wolodymyr, and Wendell M. Aycock, eds. William Faulkner: Prevailing Verities and World Literature. Lubbock: Interdepartmental Committee on Comparative Literature, Texas Tech University, 1973.
Weinstein, Phillip M. The Cambridge Companion to William Faulkner. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1995.
The Mississippi Writers Page (University of Mississippi Department of English): http://www.olemiss.edu/depts/english/ms-writers/dir/faulkne...
The William Faulkner Collections, Special Collections Department, University of Virginia Library: http://www.lib.virginia.edu/speccol/colls/faulkner.html
Guides to Faulkner materials in these collections can be found in the Bibliography section. (See the Bonner, Brodsky, Crane, Kinney, Massey, Meriwether, Sensibar, and Watson entries; see also William Faulkner Manuscripts under Facsimiles.) Recent acquisitions often can be found by visiting websites for these institutions.
Berg and Arents Collections, New York Public Library, New York City.
Louis D. Brodsky Collection, Southeastern Missouri State University, Cape Girardeau.
Faulkner Collection, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas, Austin.
Faulkner Collection, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville.
Rowan Oak Papers, Special Collections, University of Mississippi Library, Oxford.
William B. Wisdom Collection, Howard-Tilton Memorial Library, Tulane University, New Orleans.